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Daily Agenda: The Week Ahead, September 5 – 9, 2016

Eurostat and China’s National Bureau of Statistics release key consumer data; Muslims convene in Mecca; Patel takes the helm at the Reserve Bank of India.

Monday, September 5: Eurostat releases July retail sales data will be released for the euro zone. Figures on shopping for the 19-country bloc came in below consensus forecasts, with sales flat for the month. August consumer confidence survey data released last week by the European Commission remained flat at a contraction of 8.5 points suggesting that activity at the cash register remained muted during these final weeks of summer despite early indications that any impact of the impending Brexit will be less pronounced than originally feared.

Tuesday, September 6: Last week’s annual report by the Reserve Bank of India included a foreword by outgoing Bank governor Raghuram Rajan explaining that slashing policy rates may not have an immediate impact of private sector credit and that inflation levels remain a concern. The message, in advance of Tuesday’s reverse repo rate announcement, appeared to be a parting message to elected officials who have advocated stimulating growth through extreme policy measures following the examples set by central banks in the developed world. July CPI levels exceeded the bank’s upper threshold of an annualized 6 percent in July by 0.07, stocking concerns that the 2017 target of an average 5 percent may be difficult to achieve. With Rajan protégé Urjit Patel taking control at the RBI on the 4th, a strong focus on taming inflation appears likely to remain in effect.

Wednesday, September 7: The biggest party held on Bali each year is the ten-day-long Galungan festival. The celebration, steeped in Hinduism as practiced on the Indonesian island, marks the time of year that the spirits of ancestors revisit the earth to be venerated by their descendants. Each household stages festive meals, floral arrangements and entertainments to honor the spirit guests. Troupes of barong dancers will visit the 210 temples scattered across the island performing for crowds throughout the festival in a colorful depiction of the eternal battle between good and evil. Foreign visitors can take advantage of the island’s growing reputation as a gourmet destination with upscale restaurants sprouting up each month.

Thursday, September 8: More than 2 million faithful Muslims will descend on the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia to make the hajj, the annual pilgrimage that Muslims are required to undertake at least once in their lifetimes. For this year’s event, which officially gets underway on Saturday, the 10th, Saudi authorities plan to issue pilgrims with electronic identification bracelets equipped with GPS tracking and multilingual help services. After the stampede at last year’s hajj that resulted in 792 fatalities, authorities have also installed nearly 1,000 new surveillance cameras in a bid to shore up safety.

Friday, September 9: China’s National Bureau of Statistics releases August consumer inflation data, a critical reading in advance of any September monetary policy moves on the part of the People’s Bank of China. In July prices rose by an annualized 1.8 percent — a sequential decline that registered below the PBOC’s official target band. A declining pace in the inflation of fresh food prices was a primary driver for the sluggish pace of expansion during July. Surprisingly strong August purchasing managers’ index data released this past week suggests that producer inflation data due the same day from the NBS may see a marginal rise.

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